Bicycle-loving, city-riding, online-shopping, deal-seeking honest reviewer.
Buying cheap bikes online from Amazon - too good to be true?
As you might expect, there are some trade offs to be made when ordering a cheap bicycle online. While it is a great way to save money and pretty convenient to have it shipped to your door, there are some risks and effort involved that need to be considered.
I've ordered two bikes online from Amazon (one for me and one for my boyfriend). We ordered this one. Our experience has been mostly positive, with a few caveats. I'll share the pros and cons, as well as some tips if you decide to go the same route I did.
My Amazon Retrospec Mantra Fixie Bicycle after 2 years
Pros & Cons of Amazon Retrospec Bicycles
The low, low price!
The bikes we saw from Retrospec Bicycles were around half the price of similar bikes in stores.
Convenient and free shipping
The bikes shipped to our door in under a week, for free. We live in Canada, so this isn't common for large package.
What you see online is what you get
The bikes actually looked nicer in person. Mine has a sparkly glow and the white wheels reflect light, making it safer to ride at night.
They were also extremely light, something I was looking for as my last bike was clunky and hard to maneuver.
Some DIY involved
The bikes arrived mostly assembled. The wheels are on, and the frame is in one piece. However, you will have to put the brakes on yourself. There are instructions included and they are pretty easy to follow.
This particular bike has a way to make the brakes so they are either fixed gear (brake with your pedal) or single gear (brake with the hand brake).
Air is not included
You will need to pump up the tires yourself, or fill them at a bike shop.
Some guessing required
With online ordering, you can't hop on the bike to test it like you would in store. Read the reviews and ask the seller for size recommendations if you are unsure.
A second Amazon Retrospec Mantra Fixie Bicycle, purchased 2 years ago
Another angle - I bought the basket separately
How to avoid scams and bad experiences when ordering bikes online
Do some research
I had a good experience ordering from Retrospec Bicycles, but every seller on Amazon is independent. The products may look similar, but pay attention to the reviews before you order.
Would I recommend it?
Yes, if you are willing to do some minor assembly yourself. You can also bring it to a bike repair shop and ask them to assemble it for you for $10-$20.
If time is of the essence, then you might be better off going in to a bike store and buying in person. They will still have to adjust it to your height and fill the tires, but you'll get to test it in person, although you will likely pay much more for this privilege.
It's up to you...are you willing to sacrifice a bit of time and energy, in order to save money on a bike?
Cerio on April 21, 2018:
Thank you for sharing this info, Abby! It's very insightful. Followed you!